My attitudes # 10 Humility. Water melting rock

“You must try, the voice said, to become colder.
I understood at once.
It’s like the bodies of gods: cast in bronze, braced in stone.
Only something heartless
could bear the full weight.”
― Jane Hirshfield
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People have sometimes said to me ‘you are a rock’.
I have often pondered what that actually means and I believe it encompasses five things:
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1). Being dependable to keep on with the small everyday and mundane tasks of life and not complaining about them but rather – just keep doing them – keep on, keeping on.
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2) Always doing what you say you will, keeping to your word.
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3) Being there in another persons’ troubles to help them out, or simply as moral support.
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4) Being the ‘realm of safety’, the protector; and providing a place that is calm and secure for others – both emotionally and physically.
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5) Being the one who remains level-headed in a crisis, putting one’s own fears and anxieties aside to step up and deal with the crisis; and even when you want to crawl into a hole and disappear, you cannot because others depend on you.
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People urge me to remain ‘strong’.
I continually urge myself to remain strong and positive.
However, what I have learned about this personal crisis is that in times of emotional upheaval, to always remain ‘the rock’, that bastion of strength, would require an element of coldness and heartlessness.
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And what I have learned about this personal crisis, is that sometimes I do not feel like that at all, I do not feel like that rock, I do not feel cold or heartless …… or strong.
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Sometimes I feel:
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‘I cannot do it’.
‘I need help’.
‘I am not as strong as I thought I was’.
‘I need to just breathe, I am not capable of anything more at this moment’.
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And what I have learned is, that it is OK to feel like that.
What I have learned is that I too am vulnerable, just like everyone else.
What I have gained, is humility.
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“Water is fluid, soft and yielding but water will wear away a rock, which is rigid and cannot yield……what is soft is strong.” Lao Tzu
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